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Breaking down the Cardinals' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

St. Louis keeps with homegrown tradition with majority signed by amateur, international scouts
MLB.com @JonathanMayo

For the past five seasons, the Cardinals have reached the postseason, with varying degrees of success. Each year, the homegrown nature of that playoff roster is lauded.

The pipeline feeding the big league club isn't quite as packed as it has been in the past, but that doesn't mean there isn't talent. And the 2016 Top 30 Prospects list, not surprisingly, consists almost entirely of players signed by Cardinals' amateur and international scouts. A total of 26 of the 30 fit the completely homegrown definition.

For the past five seasons, the Cardinals have reached the postseason, with varying degrees of success. Each year, the homegrown nature of that playoff roster is lauded.

The pipeline feeding the big league club isn't quite as packed as it has been in the past, but that doesn't mean there isn't talent. And the 2016 Top 30 Prospects list, not surprisingly, consists almost entirely of players signed by Cardinals' amateur and international scouts. A total of 26 of the 30 fit the completely homegrown definition.

Cardinals' Top 30 Prospects list

A number of players could contribute this season, as needed, though only No. 1 prospect Alex Reyes has the upside of an elite-level player, and his ascension will be delayed a bit by his 50-game drug of abuse suspension. Others knocking on the door are more role-player types, but what team in baseball has done more to maximize contributions from that type of player than the Cardinals?

Team Top 30 Prospects lists

St. Louis has also done extremely well in finding hidden gems, most notably later in the Draft, the Matt Adamses and Matt Carpenters of the world. College bats like Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader from the 2015 Draft could end up fitting that description well. There are some high-ceiling players and pitchers on this list, as well, courtesy of international scouting efforts, though they are far off in the distance in terms of impacting the 25-man roster.

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2015 preseason list to the 2016 preseason list.

Jump: Junior Fernandez (2015: NR | 2016: 15)
Fall: Breyvic Valera (2015: 17 | 2016: NR)

Best tools
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

Top 10 Farm Systems

Hit: Magneuris Sierra (55)
Power: Bryce Denton (55)
Run: Charlie Tilson (65)
Arm: Patrick Wisdom (65)
Defense: Juan Herrera (60)
Fastball: Sam Tuivailala (80)
Curveball: Alex Reyes (60)
Slider: Jack Flaherty (55)
Changeup: Marco Gonzales (70)
Control: Dean Kiekhefer (65)

How they were built
Draft: 21
International: 5
Trade: 2
Rule 5: 1
Waivers: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2016: 11
2017: 5
2018: 9
2019: 5

Breakdown by position
C: 2
2B: 2
3B: 3
SS: 3
OF: 5
RHP: 10
LHP: 5

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals